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China eyes tourism infrastructure upgrades to spur economy
Last Updated: 2017-03-07 01:23 | Xinhua
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China plans to boost its tourism sector by upgrading infrastructure and giving the public easier access to travel information, a government document said on Monday.

The National Tourism Administration unveiled the plan in a development guideline for the tourism industry during the 2016-2020 period. It echoes the country's national strategy to spur the service sector.

According to the document, by 2020, roads to the country's major tourist attractions will be renovated to meet growing travel demand. Large tourist destinations will have easier internal transportation.

In the next four years, the country will add 20 inter-region bike lanes with a total length of 5,000 kilometers to boost zero-emission travel. More tour buses and RV campsites will also open.

Toilets at tourist sites have long had a nasty reputation. Visitors have complained of a toilet shortage, unhygienic conditions, and lack of sanitation workers.

To address the problem, the country aims to install and upgrade 100,000 restrooms. Toilets at major tourist sites should apply stringent hygiene standards with environmentally friendly cleaning approaches at most facilities.

The document also outlines plans to build a more integrated information sharing system and provide visitors higher-quality services.

China's tourism revenue totaled about 4.69 trillion yuan (about 689.7 billion U.S. dollars) in 2016, up 13.6 percent year on year. Domestic tourists made 4.44 billion trips last year, an increase of 11 percent, official data showed.

Tourism plays a key part in the world's second-largest economy as the country moves to build an economy driven by the service sector and consumer spending rather than trade and investment.

By 2020, the country will spend about 2 trillion yuan on the tourism sector, which will contribute more than 12 percent of GDP, according to the plan.

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